It’s been flu season for what feels like ages now, but we’ve all been extra on-edge lately because of the latest outbreak: the coronavirus, which has been spreading quickly all around the world (so much so that some countries are closing their borders to China in order to quarantine). While they’re relatively rare in the scheme of things, pandemics do continue to occur time and time again (remember H1N1 and the Swine Flu?). It’s important to remain vigilant so that we can protect ourselves and the people around us.

Here, we’ve prepared a starter kit for everything you should have on hand to prevent getting sick.

1. HAND WASH

Washing your hands is the most effective preventative measure you can take against getting infected. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water every time you come back into your home or office after stepping outside. Some public restrooms don’t have soap, so it may be safe to carry your own.

WE RECOMMEND: Shiseido Medicated Hand Soap, P236

Glenda, 39: “I read a review saying that this hand soap would remove food smells on your hands, which convinced me to try this product. It’s really great, lathers very well and smells really good. It is also true that it will not dry your hands at all. I actually bought 3 bottles right away to put in bathrooms and even in the kitchen to make sure we’re using the same product in the house. I will buy this regularly onwards.”

2. HAND SANITIZER

Keep your hands away from your face, and stay especially clear from mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. Viruses and bacteria may enter the body quicker through these areas. If you don’t have immediate access to a sink, hand sanitizer is your best bet.

WE RECOMMEND: By KD Wake Hand Sanitizer, P100

Kaia, 23: “On my second bottle already, and I can say it’s my favorite hand sanitizer yet! Smells so good and love that it’s multi-purpose too! Even my friends can’t get enough of it and keep asking me for a spritz. Really a must have and a staple in my bag. Will definitely order more when I run out!”

3. DISINFECTANT

For any other disinfecting needs—say, a desk surface or even a phone screen—you’re going to need something a little more potent than a hand sanitizer. Alcohol works just fine in a pinch (a 70% alcohol solution is said to be most effective) but we like disinfectants that do their job thoroughly without being too harsh. Clean surfaces you touch frequently (such as your laptop and your phone—the screen and the back) at the end of every day. It might sound extreme, but your phone is ten times dirtier than a toilet seat, and it’s best to play it safe in times like these!

WE RECOMMEND: Nature to Nurture Multi-Surface Cleaner, P209

Patricia, 28: “It’s a great all around cleaner, no harsh chemicals, and smells good! I use it on our table, floor and even toilet. I’ve used it for a week and it still looks full. Will definitely buy the bigger bottle next time.”

4. FACE MASK

Avoid crowds when you can, but if you find yourself in one, wear a face mask. Whether you’re in an indoor or outdoor public space, keep it on in order to protect yourself from any airborne viruses or bacteria.

WE RECOMMEND: Perfect Care Face Mask, P6

Joan, 24: “Very helpful these days, with the eruption in Taal and Coronavirus! This a must talaga! Very helpful talaga ito!!! I love this! I love this!! Naka-seal and good din naman ‘to so very okay din ‘to. Nag-sstock talaga ako nito everytime I buy here in BeautyMNL. HOARD NIYO NA ‘TO PLEASE.”

5. VITAMIN C

This vital nutrient is crucial to strengthening your immune system, and it has antioxidant and healing properties. Because the human body cannot produce vitamin C on its own, we need to ensure we’re getting enough of it through our intake. Consuming vitamin C-rich foods and supplements can help boost your immune system to avoid getting sick, too.

WE RECOMMEND: Huga Nutrition Vitamin C Immunity Gummy Vitamins Orange Flavor (60 Gummies), now on sale at P424 (limited time only)

Rebecca, 31: “It’s yummy and addicting. I almost want to eat it all, and I don’t even like gummies or other candies that much. I think what makes this so addicting: it’s a fun way of taking vitamins, it doesn’t smell hideous like ascorbic acid vitamins in capsule form, but you know it’s good for you. I’ve been taking this for almost a month now, and while I haven’t noticed any drastic changes regarding its promise to brighten the complexion, I have noticed that I heal faster from cough and colds than I did before.”

6. VITAMIN D3

Another important immune system booster is vitamin D3. Studies show that an increase in vitamin D3 intake helps prevent viral illnesses such as colds and the flu. Most of us don’t get enough vitamin D from natural sun exposure, so we may need to supplement with pills.

WE RECOMMEND: Herbs of the Earth Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K12 MK-7 (90 Chewable Tablets), P1,099

Sherwin, 33: “…It’s just like candy, actually. Take note—free of gluten, hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, artificial colors/flavors, and binders. What’s not good in this product? None! If you are an active person and would like to be healthy, I strongly recommend this vitamin.”

7. INHALER

If your sinuses are starting to get clogged, inhalers are great for quick relief. They may not necessarily work as a preventative measure, but relieving symptoms early may aid in alleviating discomfort.

WE RECOMMEND: Mark II Inhaler, P100

Isabel, 26: “I absolutely love this! I like its scent, which helped me get through this season’s colds and also helps me get through headaches! Plus, aside from the inhaler, the lower part actually contains an oil similar to that of White Flower. This is recommended to all titas of BeautyMNL!”

8. GARLIC

Consuming garlic is very helpful in boosting your immune system. Although effectivity is reduced after garlic is cooked, studies show that letting garlic stand for ten minutes after chopping or crushing (before cooking) preserves its beneficial medicinal properties. We’d suggest using lots of it in all your meals, but in case you want to avoid garlic breath, an odorless garlic supplement works great, too. (Or, you could also add a bunch of extra Daddy Mikk’s Garlic Crunch to all your meals. We won’t judge.)

WE RECOMMEND: Puritan’s Pride Odorless Garlic 1000mg (100 Softgels), P389

Hazel, 37: “When I read that garlic can help heal your body and is very good for the heart, I searched for any available garlic supplements and tried this brand. I actually liked it, odorless indeed! After a few weeks, I’ve noticed that I’m feeling better each day, and my skin is also glowing. What I like most is that the convenient mini round capsule form has 1000mg of powerful garlic oil.”

9. WATER BOTTLE

Another surprisingly easy way to prevent illness is to drink water—lots and lots of it. Viruses and bacteria can infect our bodies more easily when our mucous membranes (such as the ones found in the mouth and throat) are dry. Plus, when we are well hydrated, the intricate systems within our bodies can function better (which also means they can protect us better). Keep drinking water throughout the day to keep viral infections at bay!

WE RECOMMEND: BKR Big Water Bottle, P2,950

Jovilyn, 28: “I do not know why, but I tend to drink more water when I use this water bottle! I have the 1L variant and can finish 4L a day and even more… there’s really a difference compared with other expensive water tumblers. A lot of people are also complimenting me for how cute my bottle is. This one is really worth it—both aesthetically and health-wise, because it helps me stay hydrated all day.”

10. LOZENGES

Have you ever felt the tickle of an impending sore throat, only to have it turn into a full-blown fever in a mere few days? Same. With early signs, it’s best to nip things in the bud. Always keep lozenges in handy for relieving a sore throat, and take care of yourself so that the infection doesn’t get any worse than that.

We recommend: Nin Jiom Herbal Candy Lozenges Pouch Original (20g), P43

Andie, 35: “I ordered these lozenges because I am prone to getting sore throats due to my line of work. I talk for almost 12 hours a day. My job really puts stress on my vocal cords and throat, so this is my go-to relief whenever I feel that my throat is starting to itch and my voice sounds hoarse. It can help with the prevention of sore throat and voice hoarseness.”

11. BABY WIPES

You never know when you might need to clean your face, hands, or any other body part, for that matter. Staying sanitary and wiping off dirt as much as possible will definitely help in warding off potentially dangerous germs.

WE RECOMMEND: Tiny Buds Organic Baby Wipes, P115

Maria, 35: “I unexpectedly loved this one. I was only looking for organic wipes that I could use when I travel or when I’m out and about, because wipes are hand all-around toiletry. I am just extra amazed that this nice product supports the advocacy of planting trees!”

Minor edits have been made to reviews for brevity and clarity.

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